Jones finds form, wins long jump at trials

Embattled star secures Athens spot

Jacobs retires before drug hearing

July 16, 2004|By Elliott Denman | Elliott Denman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Marion Jones is in. Regina Jacobs is out. Torri Edwards may be out, too.

You may need more than a program to determine the lineup of the 2004 USA women's Olympic track and field team.

A legal defense team would be helpful, too.

Four days after failing to make the team in the 100-meter dash, three-time 2000 gold medalist Jones earned a ticket to Athens by winning the long jump at the U.S. Olympic trials yesterday at Sacramento State with a leap of 23 feet, 4 inches. Grace Upshaw was a distant second at 22-5.

Jones, who declined to talk to reporters after the competition, did talk briefly with a microphone to the crowd after accepting her winner's medal, and offered a mix of emotions. Her name has been linked to the BALCO drug investigation for months

"I think I had just a little bit of motivation," she said, laughing so hard her body bent forward. "It feels really good. I had fun out there.

"So many people told me, `Marion have fun.' It was very hard to keep it together today," she said, her voice cracking as she began to sob.

Three of Jones' jumps topped Upshaw's best, the 23-4 coming in the second round. It was the second-best jump in the world this year.

Meanwhile, U.S. 1,500 record-holder Jacobs - facing drug allegations, too - announced her retirement from the sport, a day before she planned to begin a bid for her 13th national title in the 1,500 meters and three days before an arbitration hearing is scheduled in her doping case.

And Edwards, the 2003 world champion in the 100 who placed second to LaTasha Colander in the trials 100, faces an unknown fate after testing positive for the banned stimulant nikethamide after an April meet in Martinique.

Edwards, an outspoken supporter of U.S. anti-drug efforts in track and field, could be banned two years for use of a stimulant, disqualifying her from the 2004 Olympic team.

Edwards yesterday attributed the positive test to a glucose supplement that, unbeknownst to her, contained the stimulant.

She said she took the glucose because she wasn't feeling well.

If Edwards is suspended from the Athens Games next month, that could open the door for Jones to compete in the 100.

If Edwards gets that sanction after a Monday hearing, the finishers below her will move up in the final results. That means Gail Devers would earn the third and final spot in the 100 and Jones would go from fifth to fourth.

But Devers, 37, previously has said she might not run the 100 in Athens, preferring to concentrate on the 100-meter high hurdles if she makes the team in that event. The hurdles final is Sunday.

NOTE: Larry Wade, a top U.S. contender in the high hurdles, has tested positive for a "banned performance-enhancing substance," sources familiar with the case told the Chicago Tribune.

The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.